I am starting an online site and have checked the state requirements which are obtaining a business license and registration. I am not sure if the company will be profitable. Can I start the company and then apply for the license after the fact?
Whether you would be in violation of state code by operating the business without the proper compliance really depends.
When you set up an entity in NJ you apply and register with tax and finance at the same time. Here, the state will be told what the nature of your business consists of, etc. Beyond that, and in some industries, you may be required to obtain additional permits, but there is no way for any of us to know without understanding exactly what you are doing in the context of state requirements. Further, even municipalities may have some compliance as well.
I highly doubt that you have much more to think about if this is just an online ecommerce type venture unless you are selling highly regulated goods.
I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your objectives in more detail. You can start by calling around to several for a free phone consultation, get some insights then pick the best fit to work with.
DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed with the law firm of Natoli-Lapin, LLC on the basis of this posting.
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I agree with my colleague. In addition, if you plan to have employees at the start of your business, you should register as soon as possible, and consult with an accountant familiar with required state withholdings for taxes, workers' comp, etc. And don't assume that you can start with all contract employees (1099 workers) and be safe. NJ has its own definition of who is an employee and who is not, and it does not turn simply on the fact that you call them an "independent contractor" in an agreement.
Please consult an attorney directly before taking action. This answer is intended for general information only and should not be taken as legal advice. My communication with you is not privileged and is not within, or intended to create, an attorney-client relationship. Pursuant to Circular 230 of the Department of Treasury: (1) no written statement to be provided by me relating to any Federal tax transaction or matter is intended to be used, and no such statement can be used, for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer, and (2) such written statement may not be used by any person to support the promotion or marketing of or to recommend any Federal tax transaction or matter.
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Messrs Natoli and Mack are spot on. Consult with a lawyer and a CPA to make sure your I's are dotted and your T's are crossed.
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You take the risk of subjecting yourself to personal liability.
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First, you should have your tax and business lawyer review your proposed business. Most likely, a Limited Liability Company would be the best form of entity. NJ is very difficult with Sales and Use Tax as well as regulation, and you and your attorney may select another State.
Please do not start operating as a sole proprietor. You are putting all of you assets at risk!
I hope this helps.
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